Album: Satan in the Death Row
Blast beats, morbid sounding vocals and harsh guitar riffs played through heavily distorted amps, I think it is safe to say that this a Black Metal band.
Hailing from a region know for passionate extreme metal music, Despot is another Brazilian metal band that delivers ultimate evil sounding music upon this earth. The one-man band led by extreme metal musician, Marcelo Murrer, follows down a similar musical path to that of legendary Brazilian metal bands Sepultura and Sarcofago. “Satan in the Death Row,” is an album that demonstrates raw sinister creativity. Listeners will be dragged into an ominous world of haunting atmospheres and intense vicious compositions.
Murrer’s songwriting and instrumental capabilities are highly impressive. Since he plays all the instruments on this album, I notice that the compositions all flow together. He is allowed complete creative control and can dictate which direction he wants the album’s sound to go. The opening track begins with dark ambient sounds to build up some bone chilling suspense. As the introduction begins to fade, a scream of guitar feedback starts to come creep through. Within seconds the next track, “Matriarch,” starts to takes form. The beginning ominous sounding riff slowly gains momentum and is matched up with crushing drum fills. Halfway through the song, the music drastically slows down and creates a very gloomy atmosphere. The dark ambiance seems to steal all the happiness around me, and I get this mesmerizing chaotic vibe that reminds me of how the Norwegian band Emperor sounds.
I find that the a majority of compositions on this album match up with material released by bands like Emperor, Dissection and Enslaved. Murrer really takes pride in his work, and songs like “Auto-de-Fé” and “Purified by Fire,” go through many changes musically while maintaining a solid satanic sound. His riffs can be very percussive and match the blast beats perfectly. Also, he demonstrates some technically by shredding up the lower strings on his guitar. No matter what style he plays, everything works together.
The title track on this album definitely took me by surprise, because the opening echoing guitar chords caught me off guard. At first I thought this would be a slow doomy track, and guess what? I was completely wrong! Like a flash of lightening, corpse grinding blast beats come thundering down while a vicious chainsaw ripping guitar riff builds momentum. Murrer incorporates some acoustic music towards the end to give the song a progressive sound. Song number six, “Forbidden,” is another unholy extreme cut of Black Metal with hints of Death Metal. His vocal style shifts from the traditional Black Metal style to a lower Death Metal growl, and the contrast definitely offers more extreme variation. I felt that towards the end of this album the music became darker, and the slower sections really caught my ear’s attention. I think slowing the music down made the songs heavier and allowed me to really hear Murrer’s skillful instrumental abilities.
Despot’s “Satan In the Front Row” is a reminder of how one man can play all the instruments and find a way to produce solid extreme music. Although the one man Black Metal mixed with other styles of metal band has been done numerous times, I think Murrer’s musicianship helps separate him from the others. I believe the creatively and skill that went into this album deserves high praise. As I have always said, Brazilian metalheads are unbelievably passionate about their enjoyment of metal music, and their own music sounds pretty darn similar to the great bands who influenced them.